The Council of Canadians, in coordination with the Canadian Health Coalition, is supporting the National Day of Action to protect and strengthen public health care. At least 19 chapters of the Council of Canadians are taking part in events from coast to coast in opposition to Harper’s health care cuts.
“Today is the day the 2004 Health Accord expires. It’s last day there will be a health accord ensuring national health care standards across the country,” says Council of Canadians health care campaigner Adrienne Silnicki. “The Council of Canadians is deeply concerned that failing to renegotiate the accord weakens the federal government’s ability to uphold the core principles of the Canada Health Act.”
The health accord is an agreement between the federal, provincial and territorial governments that sets federal funding for health care, and ensures all Canadians can access high-quality services regardless of where they live.
“Without a health accord we will lose $36 billion in federal funds for health care,” says Silnicki. “We’re holding this National Day of Action in over 40 cities as a wake-up call for Canadians to the loss of the health accord and Harper’s plans to dismantle public health care.”
To date, the Harper government has refused to meet with premiers to negotiate a new accord. Instead, the federal government plans to cut $36 billion over 10 yearsfrom public health care and walk away from its responsibilities to ensure equal access to all Canadians, which could lead to mass privatization.
“This is a cut to the jugular of public health care in Canada,” warns the Council’s National Chairperson Maude Barlow. “If we allow this to happen we will soon see an explosion of health care privatization, and before we know it medicare will flatline. We have to take action now if we want to save public health care in Canada.”
For more information on the Campaign to Protect, Strengthen and Expand Medicare, visit the joint Council of Canadians / Canadian Union of Public Employees website.